You, too, can have a HAPPY BACK!

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Back pain is one of the most common health problems in adults. Eighty percent of the population is affected by back pain at some time in their lives. However,back problems can be prevented most of the time. Proper body mechanics with daily activities and proper exercises for strength and flexibility are the keys to keeping a HAPPY BACK.

We know that physical activity is the most important part of prevention and treatment of back pain. This is even true when it is somewhat painful to move!

We need to maintain good posture or alignment of the spine. Good posture improves our ability to perform a task more effectively and with less muscular effort. Remember … ears over the shoulders, shoulders over the hips, hips over the knees and ankles, keep the stomach and the buttocks taut and squeeze the shoulder blades together.

It’s not how much you can lift, or how often, or how far. It’s all about the technique you use! Repeatedly using poor body mechanics can cause low back pain and a number of different back problems. The keys to proper body mechanics when lifting are: keep your head high, bend at the knees and/or hips, low back should maintain a slight arch, keep objects close to your body and use your legs not your back.

A little prevention goes a long way to keeping a HAPPY BACK. Here a few tipsto keep in mind:

  • Keep physically fit and exercise (aerobic, strengthening, flexibility and relaxation).
  • Practice good posture and body mechanics, especially when sitting.
  • Use a back support at work, driving, watching TV, etc.
  • Eat nutritious foods in moderation to stay at a healthy weight.
  • Keep stress to a minimum in order to keep muscles relaxed.
  • Get 6 to 8 hours of sleep per night.
  • Stop smoking since this impedes proper circulation.

For more information on keeping a HAPPY BACK, contact Cindy Binkley, CEO/Administrator at Central Park West Health Center at 419-841-9622, cbinkley@cpwhc.com or go to our website at http://www.cpwhc.com.

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